Gallium Nitride-Based Modulator Integrated Visible Light Source

Period of Performance: 12/16/1998 - 06/16/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Physical Optics Corp.
1845 West 205th Street Array
Torrance, CA 90501
Principal Investigator


The U. S. Army Research Office (ARO) is seeking short wavelength integrated optics components. In response, Physical Optics Corporation (POC) proposes a Gallium Nitride Electroabsorption (GNE) solution. This new approach will integrate into a single wafer: 1) multi-quantum wells; 2) blue-green light sources; and, 3) an Electroabsorption modulator; all using GaN thin film. The results will be fully integrated, and the techniques used will be applicable to producing other short wavelength integrated optical components. Several other unique features will be included in this modulator-integrated visible light source. Electroabsorption effects will be used, for the first time, as a modulator, using gallium nitride (GaN) based quantum well material. Additionally, POC's technology for detuning the Electroabsorption effects will also be used to simplify fabrication processes. POC believes that this innovative device will provide a compact, lightweight, reliable, robust and high luminescence modulator-integrated, green-blue light source. The technology also has the potential to spawn more complicated short wavelength integrated optical devices. Phase I will deliver a prototype, fabricated on III-V nitride compound semiconductor materials, complete with initial testing to demonstrate feasibility. Phase II efforts will focus on optimization, to produce a practical, commercially-oriented prototype. BENEFITS: This project will develop a compact, low-cost, reliable, modulator-integrated visible light source for multiple military and civilian uses: high performance, full color displays, optical data storage, biological/chemical reagent identification, image projection video systems, color laser printers, and replacements for conventional lamps, such as traffic lights.